In 1975, Kyle Jackson stood across the table from Andy Warhol and handed him a soup can. While the famous artist used a black sharpie and signed the can of Campbell’s tomato soup, Kyle decided the life of the artist was the life for him.
After moving from Cabbagetown to Halifax, attending NSCAD, operating Soho Kitchen, raising three super kids, and building paintings, Kyle has had a long and illustrious career in art.
Kyle likes to specialize in large panoramas of the city of Halifax and hopes to leave behind a 40 year series documenting the growth of the city in tandem with the development of his painting style.
leaving behind a visual legacy
I make art to pay the rent, entertain the audience, and to leave behind a visual legacy. Sometimes my paintings work, sometimes they don’t. An artist never gives up the search for beauty. The way a painted dark purple shadow can bring a building alive. The way one small unplanned mark can change everything. Painting is about ﬁltering out all the bad marks and color areas and leaving behind the good stuff. Painting is visual editing, polishing something up but also leaving behind raw energy to keep the ﬁre burning. It’s fun when it’s working, it’s a battle when it’s not.
a stubborn energy
The description of my work is dynamic, but the main thrust is a stubborn energy that has built up over time to overcome red/green color blindness, impatience and a desire to prove the critics wrong. Acrylic paint allows me to paint in layers quickly, to correct and continue. My painting surfaces are always considered as three dimensional objects and the building of the art is a carefully considered element of the painting. I imagine this is why my work has been associated with folk art, with my sculptural paintings full of bright colors and protected whimsy.
Jasper Johns, Wayne Thiebaud and Raoul Dufy are my visual heroes. And, of course, Andy Warhol’s irreverence and quote “art is anything you can get away with” could possibly one day end up as a tattoo on my painting arm.
the hustle is part of the fun
The real challenge of being an artist, or any self directed individual, is motivation and keeping momentum. There is nothing more creative and motivational than having the rent cheque due. Therefore, an artist has to hustle because we eat what we kill. The hustle is part of the fun. Making something out of nothing. It’s magic.
some of my fondest art memories
Some recent successes include community art projects with local schools. One produced a 16×3 ft panorama painting of the Halifax region painted by close to 500 students at Halifax West High School. Another project included 25 delicate shadow memory boxes created by grade 5 students at Atlantic Memorial school. Currently I am working with three schools with support from VANS PAINTS program doing three separate art projects. I have been working with schools and the PAINTS program for over 15 years and consider it to be a fantastic resource for students, teachers and artists to make art. Some of my fondest art memories have been made possible by the PAINTS program. A highlight was a large Fish Fence sculpture made at a small school in Louisbourg, Cape Breton. I will always remember our little parade out to unveil the art work and then as the students, parents and teachers applauded as the youngest child in the school stood up on tip toes to cut the ribbon…unforgettable, thanks PAINTS!
stay tuned for Soup Can Studio
My latest project is building a space in Halifax to teach private and group art classes. The classes will be workshops based on building and painting. Subjects could be shadow boxes, carved frame paintings or love horns. On the wall of the workshop will be my signed Warhol soup can. In the spirit of Andy Warhol, the space is called Soup Can Studio. Stay tuned!
Learn more about Kyle Jackson and his artwork via his website: